Oxygen dependency of retinal adhesion

R. Y. Kim, X. Y. Yao, M. F. Marmor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose. Normal retina is firmly attached to the retinal pigment epithelium, but the force of this adhesion drops precipitously within the first 2-3 min after enucleation. The purpose was to study metabolic factors that might be relevant to this postmortem failure of adhesion. Methods. Dutch rabbit retina was manually peeled from the retinal pigment epithelium on strips of enucleated eyecup within a 37°C bath. Retinal adhesiveness was measured by observing the amount of retinal pigment epithelium that remained adherent to the retina. Results. Autologous whole blood in place of salt solution retarded the decrease in adhesiveness. A solution of hemoglobin alone was similarly effective, whereas methemoglobin solution failed to help the persistence of retinal adhesion. Bubbling oxygen into the salt solution and circulating it to avoid oxygen depletion at the tissue boundary also proved effective at sustaining retinal adhesiveness. Eyes made ischemic in vivo for 5 min or longer, by elevating intraocular pressure, showed virtually no retinal adhesion when enucleated immediately thereafter. However, eyes made ischemic for 10 min, but allowed to regain circulation for 5 min before enucleation, showed a return of retinal adhesiveness to 80% of normal. Conclusions. Oxidative metabolism is critical to the maintenance of retinal adhesiveness, and the effects of oxygen deprivation on adhesion are reversible within a certain time period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2074-2078
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993


  • oxidative metabolism
  • oxygen
  • retina
  • retinal adhesion
  • retinal pigment epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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